Knowledge is power, and as much as what you don’t know can hurt you, what you do know can take your business to new heights. On-going competitive intelligence gathering is the key to success.
Your competitors are other organizations producing the same or similar offerings now or in the future, but your competitors are also those organizations that could remove the need for your product or service altogether.
Competitive intelligence goes way beyond just keeping up with your competitors’ activity. Good competitive insight will also help you identify customer space that your competitors haven’t touched, give you a strategic advantage in your own company’s innovation efforts and ultimately gain you market share.
Connect with Customers
Your customers already know the differences between the companies in your industry. They know that Company A has lower prices, but Company B has better customer services.
Your customers are already paying attention to what your competitors are doing because your customers are comparing and contrasting before every purchase. So competitive intelligence will also help you understand your customers’ wants and needs.
It’s smart business to know what your customers know, so you can fill in the gaps in the market when they arise. When you position yourself as a problem-solver, your customers begin to look to you to solve their problems.
Communicate the Intelligence
A problem that comes up again and again within companies is that competitive insight is gathered, but it’s not disseminated. One team gathers information about product design, another team gathers information about customer service – and no one shares the intelligence.
What a waste!
Use tools that consolidate the information and can be readily shared across teams and organizations, so every team has access to all of the competitive intelligence. Your customer service team might really benefit from knowing the product design issues that your company and your competitors are trying to solve, for example.
Counter the Competition
When you have gathered enough competitor insight, you will be able to identify spaces in your market that no one has touched. This is your chance to take the industry by surprise and create a solution for a problem that customers have and that competitors have not yet identified.
Think about the iPad. Apple saw a need in the mobile-devices market that was not yet being met. There was nothing on the market that was larger than a smartphone, smaller than a laptop, and faster and with better graphics than a netbook. Apple considered their competitors’ products and paid attention to what customers needed (not necessarily what customers asked for), and came up with a disruptive piece of technology that changed the world.
Understanding your competitors gives you a strategic advantage in the market, and against your competitors, but it also helps you understand your customers better. Which is something every business in the age of customer experience, needs to do. See where Questback can help you gain and use quality competitive intelligence or schedule a demo to test drive Questback today.
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